Combs & Cruz on DeLeón

Another Friday, another national holiday to celebrate, and this time, it’s National Tequila Day. To properly honor this festive occasion, we offer you a Q&A with DeLeón’s Master Distiller Miguel Cedeño Cruz and master of the brand, Sean Combs. Yes, that Sean Combs.

Diddy himself purchased DeLeón Tequila in partnership with Diageo and has plans to “redefine the tequila experience” with Miguel Cedeño Cruz, a highly regarded tequila expert, at the helm of distillation. Together, the pair produce six styles of this ultra premium tequila.

How do you plan to take a tequila that has been around since 2009 from near obscurity to a high-end and highly sought after luxury tequila?

DeLeon PlatinumCombs: There is no true ultra-premium tequila right now in the market. There is no tequila on the market like DeLeón. The strategy is simple: offer the finest quality tequila, expand our portfolio to give consumers choice, and redefine the tequila experience.

It all starts with an exceptional product. DeLeón is the finest tequila available. DeLeón is something you want to savor. It sets a new standard for luxury. The attention to detail in all ingredients and aspects of production focus on product quality and purity, which results in a spirit celebrated by even the most discerning tequila aficionados – and desired by everyone.

We have expanded the portfolio to allow more consumers to enjoy DeLeón. We worked with the industry’s most respected Master Distiller, Miguel Cedeño Cruz, to develop a line-up that’s the epitome of quality and craftsmanship. This includes: three new ultra-premium variants and three luxury variants.

Now that we have established DeLeón as a leading luxury tequila brand in the United States, we are focused on redefining the way people experience tequila. DeLeón helped to introduce the idea of a sipping tequila. It’s not about shots. It’s not about the old way of thinking about tequila. DeLeón is about a new way of enjoying tequila. We are creating a culture and lifestyle with DeLeón.

This is just the beginning. Now we get to work.

Why do you think DeLeón takes tequila to “The Next Level”?

Combs: DeLeón helped to introduce the idea of a sipping tequila. It’s not about the old way of thinking about tequila. DeLeón is about a new way of enjoying tequila. We are creating a culture and lifestyle with DeLeón.

What makes DeLeón Tequila worth its price point?

Cruz: DeLeón Tequila’s price point is justified by the quality of its raw materials and the unique process by which it is created. We only select the best mature agaves in the Highlands and use an improved traditional method for production. We employ a proprietary chill filtration to obtain the most balanced and smooth product possible. Additionally, the use of the combination of American and French Oak barrels is quite a unique method that adds to the depth and richness of flavor in Reposado, Diamante and Leona. Finally, we have created stunning, bespoke-style packaging which you see in the beauty and quality of the bottle.

While aging tequila in wine casks isn’t unheard of, it’s certainly unique. What impact do the French wine barrels have on the flavor profile of the DeLeón varieties aged in them?

Cruz: The combination of French wine casks with American Oak is quite unique. It takes the perfect amount of aging time in French wine barrels to bring out the specific spiced flavors we are looking for.

Which DeLeón tequila gets the best reception or praise from tequila aficionados?

Cruz: I have personally received many positive remarks about the smoothness of Platinum, and people are often surprised by Diamante as it’s a Joven (a blend of Blanco plus Añejo). I also hear praise for our Extra- Añejo and how balanced and full of flavor it manages to be even at cask strength (108 proof). And finally, consumers always compliment the complexity of the aged notes in our crown-jewel, Leona.

And finally, how do you recommend DeLeón be enjoyed?

Tequila and limesCruz: I prefer to enjoy all variants of DeLeón neat or with just a few cubes of ice in a glass in the summertime, that way you can discover all of the richness in aromas and taste. I also recommend tasting each expression several times to gain a complete impression of their complexity as they are so nuanced. Finally, I enjoy pairing DeLeón with food to bring out different flavors and see which foods pair best.

Combs: I like my DeLeón pure, so I can enjoy its exceptional smoothness and intricate flavor profile. If we were enjoying a drink together, I would offer you DeLeón Platinum on a clean rock with a squeeze of lime.

DeLeón Platinum is available at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and online here.

Meghan Guarino, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits copywriter

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